Second day out on our 14 day Mediterranean cruise on Oceania’s Nautica.
The first time I went to Kusadasi, it was a little port town with a few local craft markets – now it is a thriving city. The port itself is very nice and we could dock and walk out to a great shopping plaza.
I have been to Ephesus a few times before, and it remains a favorite because it is one of the best preserved ancient cities in the world.
As with many ancient cities in the area, Ephesus has history of Greek, Roman and Byzantine occupation. It was a thriving and very modern city for thousands of years. When listening to history in this area – the mythological and the true history – guides talk about cities being founded by Greek Gods and of course most of the monuments were built to honor the Gods. The Temple of Artemis was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was destroyed in 356 BC, but the sight of it can still be seen.
Ephesus had been an important port before the river silted, making the area marshy. The city itself was then relocated a few miles inland due to malaria in the marsh.
Christian scripture speaks of Ephesus; Paul lived there as well as John, and nearby is where the Virgin Mary is said to have lived after Christ’s death. Ephesus was one of the 7 cities addressed in Revelations.
What I like best about Ephesus is that it is so well preserved it is easy to feel like you really are in an ancient city. The roads are well defined and the theater and library of Celsus are beautiful and mostly intact. Our guide said only 15% has been restored.